After coming up short in his first two ONE Championship outings, Yushin Okami finally got back in the win column, at home at ONE: Century Part I.
Yushin Okami returned to action on the preliminary card of ONE Championship’s massive Century Part I show Saturday (Sunday local time) in Tokyo, Japan. The double-feature, with Century Part II following immediately after from the same venue, was ONE’s biggest card to date.
For Okami, it was a fight that found the Japanese veteran desperately in need of a win. The UFC alum entered the night 0-3 in his last three fights, having lost his first two bouts under the ONE banner. Life wasn’t about to get any easier, either, with the dangerous Agilan Thani standing opposite him.
Thani came out looking to land a jumping attack off the opening bell, but Okami stayed cool under fire. He held center initially, then circled, constantly moving. Thani moved in with a knee attempt, then got his hands going. He fired off a kick upstairs that was partially blocked. Okami, however, would clinch and take the fight to the ground, then work to take the back as Thani worked his way up. Agilan would be successful, but Okami was still on him, adding a punch or two.
Back on the feet, Thani would fire another kick upstairs. Both the earlier one, and this most recent blow, were to the face, though partially blocked. Still, it was a dangerous look. Okami would opt to take the fight back down, securing his second takedown of the round, only to end up dealing with a guillotine. Thani held on to the submission, but eventually, Okami would break free. He then worked to take the back, getting hooks in while Okami was sitting upright against him. Okami, taking advantage of a momentary lapse by Thani, sunk in a rear-naked choke, doing everything he could to get his grip in place. He didn’t quite have it, however.
In the second, Okami, perhaps winded from his choke attempt, was losing a grappling battle with Thani. However Okami would again get the fight down and take the back. This time, he locked on a body triangle, and went back to working for a rear-naked choke. While Thani was able to stave off the submission, he spent essentially the entire round on his back, finally scrambling up with forty-five seconds left in the frame.
The third opened up with Thani firing a straight right. He was likely down two rounds against the UFC veteran. He was certainly fighting with a sense of urgency, and this time when they went to the ground, it was Thani taking the back, hooks in. Okami fought the hands, and Thani fired off some heels to his opponent’s thigh. Thani, unable to secure the submission, would move back to the top, but Okami scrambled to one knee. Thani would retake the back later in the round, but going the distance, it was Okami getting the nod.
“I’m very happy to be back here,” Okami said following the fight, adding that hearing the Japanese crowd cheering for him was one of the happiest moments of his life. No doubt, a moment of relief for the former UFC title challenger.
Official Result: Yushin Okami def. Agilan Thani by Split Decision